By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — In the movie “Dazed And Confused,” there was a character named Clint who pronounced, at a party in the woods, that he was only there to drink some beer and kick some ass.
“And I’m almost out of beer,” he added.
The screen version of Clint kind of reminded me of some people who bring that persona to life in the real world.
I’ve seen them chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville and fomenting more tension in some cities on the edge by countering Black Lives Matter protests.
And I’ve seen them at rallies for your president (not mine).
But that’s not all. It has long since hit closer to home for me.
It includes, as the years have gone by, the average Eagles’ fan at Lincoln Financial Field.
A brief history: The Glantz Family season tickets in my name predate my 1965 birth and date back to Franklin Field. That’s when my father split an account with a group of dentists.
I went to my first game in 1970, and I was in love at the first sight of whatever of the field I was able to see.
We then enjoyed some good, bad and ugly at Veterans Stadium. Those were the Glory Years for us.
There was talk of the antics of those in the 700 level (we were in the 300 level), but I generally recollect a cerebral fan base who understood the games that maybe they enjoyed with one beer (OK, maybe two).
Next came Lincoln Financial Field. Nicer stadium, but not nicer fans.
There were a lot more “Clints.”
As time passed, an increasingly high “Clint” quotient followed.
They were there to drink a lot of beer, and then when they were almost out of beer – especially when a policy was put in place to cut them off after the third quarter – it was time to either kick some ass or watch ass be kicked elsewhere in the stands or on the field.
I wasn’t there to get drunk, and my days of kicking ass – or getting it kicked – were long behind me.
The way the stadium was constructed, the rows of seats squeezed those of us not in luxury suites in like sardines. It became especially uncomfortable in the colder weather when wearing more layers.
And, adding insult to the injury of it all, I spent half the time at the games passing beer down and the money back to the beer guy from my aisle seat. For my toil, I often got treated to a view of the crack of the beer guy’s instead of the action on the field.
My father stopped going well before his 2008 passing. At first, I had a long waiting list of friends wanting to go with me to the new stadium. As guys got older, the novelty of a new stadium wore off for them.
A year ago, the 2019-20 season, I went to a grand total of zero Eagles’ home games.
I sold some, gave away some others to good causes, and I couldn’t have been happier.
There are a lot of reasons for this, including the time commitment. It’s like a full 10-6 work day to battle traffic and go to and from the stadium on a Sunday.
As the years passed – and for many of the reasons mentioned — it became increasingly more comfortable to sit on my butt in my recliner, going to and from the bathroom at will and not having to take out a second mortgage to wait in long lines for subpar snacks.
But the largest reason was to be away from the “Clints” – the guys who give the rest of us a bad name as “the worst fans in the league” from national pundits.
This year, one small plus of COVID-19, was the option to opt out and either get a full refund or roll it over to next year.
I took the refund. I didn’t even have to think twice about it.
The thing about the Clint character on screen and the real one is that hick/hillbilly/motorhead persona that supersedes actually being a hick or a hillbilly or motorhead from “real America.”
It’s a safe bet that the guys who are at the Eagles games to get drunk, act tough and then puke in the bathroom and miss the end are also among the same misguided “patriots” who are now saying they are going to boycott the NFL season – beginning now – this year.
The “thought” process is that the players are not allowed to peacefully and respectfully protest what they see as injustices in this country – maybe by kneeling during the national anthem and/or raising a black power fist – because they “make a lot of money to play.”
Even though most of these players come from abject poverty and have dared not to forget their roots, the fact that some are making six- or seven-figure salaries for what will be careers of 3-5 years on average – only to be often left with brain damage from concussions and bum hips, knees, shoulders, etc. – is not factored into the equation that is too complex for the Clint Patrol.
The “thinking,” if you can try to follow it is: They can protest the protest, because they believe freedom of speech only belongs to them.
They get mad at the term white privilege, all because they have to work for a living like everyone else, and don’t see the irony that only they have the privilege to protest the protest that they don’t think the “spoiled brats” should have.
It gets pretty convoluted, I know, but you have to spend time among these people to understand.
Trust me, they won’t be missed. At all.
My IQ has dropped – albeit temporarily – a good 10-20 points just being in their presence at games where they act like football experts (while unable to name more than a few key players on the field and understand some simple basics).
They’d rather see an opposing player catch a touchdown pass, and then be decapitated by a late hit, than maybe have him drop the ball instead.
A Clint, by any other name, would not want it any other way.